Today I’m going to show you how to make black eyed peas, from dried beans, using your slow cooker. These beans cook perfectly and all you have to do is toss ’em in and go about your business!
With a new year upon us, Southerners start thinking about that special first big dinner, with all of it’s symbolic dishes that tradition tells us will bring wealth and good fortune in the coming year. Black eyed peas for good luck (the amount of good luck is supposed to be directly related to how many peas you eat) and collard or turnip greens for wealth, again with the amount eaten directly proportionate to how much wealth you will receive.
Of course, I don’t believe that because I’m not a believer in luck and I know a pot of greens isn’t going to bring me money, but I’ll sure stick with this meal as a means of honoring tradition – and getting a plate full of my favorites, to boot!
The ingredients are simple: Dried black eyed peas, salt, and ham for seasoning. I am using the hambone left over from our Christmas ham. You can purchase ham hocks or even just bits of ham in a package at the grocery store, or leave the ham out.
~Gulp~ I can’t believe I just said that. I hope the Southern Mama Mafia doesn’t come after me for that one but it’s the truth, these beans will cook and still be good minus the ham. I have to be honest with ya, here. Just don’t tell anyone you heard it from me, okay? Oh, who are we kidding? I’m too old to deal with that kind of nonsense. Send ’em my way.
Place hambone (if using), and dried peas in your slow cooker.
I am using a 6 quart slow cooker here.
It is always a good idea to “sort” your beans before adding to the pot. Sometimes you’ll find a small stone in the bag. Some brands have several. To sort them, just pour them into your hand a bit at a time, look at them to make sure they’re all beans, and then toss them in the pot.
Add salt. It takes a good bit of salt to make beans. I add a tablespoon for this whole pot.
If you think salt is the devil or something akin to that, add whatever amount helps you sleep at night. Just don’t come back and tell me that your beans were bland. 🙂
Add enough water to cover everything.
Put your lid on and turn that puppy on low for 8-10 hours.
Although, if you’ve read this far, I’ll tell ya that I cook mine on high so I can eat some sooner, and then once they are done I just put them on warm until we’re ready :).
If you are making these for New Year’s Eve dinner (usually served around lunchtime), you can put them on before you go to bed at night an let them cook on low until you’re ready to serve.
- 12-24 ounces Dried Beans of your choice
- Ham for seasoning (a ham bone or ham hocks from grocery store), optional but great
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 quart slow cooker
- Place ham in slow cooker. Sort beans and pour on top of ham.
- Add salt.
- Completely cover with water and fill slow cooker to within one inch of the top.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Complete your meal by adding the following:
The meat of a traditional New Year’s Day meal is usually some type of salt pork: fatback, country ham, or even bacon in a pinch. Ham is also served and very good along with the rest of this meal!
“Do not take to heart all the things that people say.”